Tinubu Slashes Travel Entourage 60%, Saving Millions: Is This the Answer to High Governance Costs?

Tinubu Slashes Travel Entourage 60%, Saving Millions: Is This the Answer to High Governance Costs?

In a major cost-cutting move, President Bola Tinubu has approved a directive to slash the size of official delegations for foreign and domestic trips by up to 60 percent.

Presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the new limits will affect travel by the president, vice president, first lady and other top officials.

For foreign trips, Tinubu’s delegation will now be capped at 20 people, down from 50 previously, while that of the First Lady’s entourage abroad is restricted to just five members, a more than 60 percent reduction.

For the vice president, the foreign delegation will be limited to five, same for his wife.

For domestic trips within Nigeria, the president’s delegation is now capped at 25, the first lady at 10, the vice president at 15 and his wife at 10 members.

For ministers, their delegations are limited to just four members of staff on any foreign trip while government chief executive officers (CEOs) will have just two.

The aim, Ngelale said, is to cut down on wasteful spending and reflect the prudence expected of all Nigerians, noting that the restrictions apply to all government ministers, departments and agencies (MDAs) including the president and vice president’s offices.

Ngelale emphasised the president’s insistence that government officials reflect the same fiscal prudence and efficiency as regular citizens.

The presidential spokesman said the secretary to the government of the federation, George Akume, will monitor the directive for compliance and warned that anyone who violates the directive would face the consequences.

He said, “President Tinubu has, by his most recent directive approved a massive cost cutting exercise that will touch across the entire federal government of Nigeria and the offices of the president himself, the vice president and the office of the first lady. It will be conducted in the following fashion.

“One, the official trips that will be undertaken within the country, that is, when Mr. President or the Vice President travels to any state within the country, the massive bills that accrued due to allowances and estacode for security detail coming from Abuja and traveling into those states will be massively cut due to the directive of the president.”

According to him, security outfits within the states will protect the president when he travels to those states, a major cost-cutting initiative that will affect the office of the vice president as well as the office of the first lady.

He went on: “You will find that the numbers on international trips are fewer than those allowed on domestic trips. This is because international trips are far more expensive across the board and the president is determined to bring total sanity and prudence to the management of the common wealth of our people,” he said.

“Henceforth, the president is insistent that the notion of government wastage, the notion of recurrent expenditure being in excess, the notion that government officials will be allowed to conduct their affairs in a way that is different from what we are asking of Nigerian citizens with respect to prudence and cost management, those days are over.”

Ngalale warned that the federal government was very serious about the directive and advised government officials to adhere strictly to it.

“If there is anybody who feels that the directive of the president is not binding on them, who feels that the president will not uphold this directive in implementation and seeks to test it, they will do so at their own peril,” he added.


Shekarau, Others Laud Decision

President Tinubu’s decision to cut travel expenses of government officials has received praise from prominent Nigerians.

Former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, who applauded the move, however,   said the challenge is in the implementation of the policy.

Shekarau, a former senator and education minister, stated this when he featured on Politics Today, a political and current affairs programme on Channels Television.

He urged state governments to take a leaf from the federal government by also cutting the cost of governance.

He further stated that though he was in an opposition party, when the ruling administration makes a commendable move, it should be commended.

He however decried the tendency for large federal cabinet and the creation of more ministries.

The CEO of the Centre for Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Dr. Muda Yusuf, who also lauded the move by the president, said it was an indication that the president was sensitive to the country’s parlous economic situation.

“This also shows that government is, by this action, demonstrating the fact that it listens to the populace, especially given the challenges the economy is going through.”

He added that the directive was a step in the right direction on clamour for a reduction in the cost of governance.

Yusuf urged state governments to emulate the president on the cost-cutting measure.

Meanwhile, a former federal lawmaker and human rights activist, Senator Shehu Sani, has commended President Bola Tinubu’s cost-cutting directive on travel expenses, urging state governors to follow suit.

LEADERSHIP reports that President Tinubu approved a directive to slash the size of official delegations for foreign and domestic trips by up to 60% for top government officials.

Taking to his X account (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, Shehu Sani described the initiative as a right step in the right direction.

He wrote: “The 60% slashes in foreign and local travel expenses of the President, VP and other top Government officials is a commendable step in the right direction.

“Cutting the cost of Governance is indispensable in any serious economic reform. We are beginning to remind ourselves that we are a developing country with multiple economic needs and realising the urgency to cut wastage and extravagance.

“State Governors should follow suit and plough the proceeds to basic or vital needs of their people.”



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